Jason Bolyard is accused of manslaughter and 3rd-degree murder for putting her in danger.
Adrian G. Uribarri
Sentinel Staff Writer
October 4, 2007
Jason Bolyard's "million-dollar bill" may buy him a ticket to prison.
Bolyard, 32, will be extradited from Illinois to Florida after Eustis detectives charged him Wednesday with manslaughter and third-degree murder. He was serving jail time in Douglas County, Ill., on an unrelated charge.
Officials said he is responsible for the death last year of a 25-year-old woman because he put her life in danger as she waited for him to buy crack cocaine with a fake million-dollar bill.
"He engaged in activity that resulted in her death," Eustis police Chief Fred Cobb said. "There's no reason for us to believe that the circumstances are anything but what he described."
According to a police report, a drug dealer shot Bolyard with a .45-caliber gun after he realized that Bolyard's payment for $100 worth of cocaine was in fact a picture of a "million-dollar bill" cut from a school folder.
The police report says a bullet struck Bolyard's left arm and traveled out of his body and into Jennifer LaForce. She was waiting at Bates Avenue and Palmetto Street in the middle passenger seat of a pickup truck with the driver's door ajar, the report says.
The report cites the counterfeit money as the last version of inconsistent accounts Bolyard gave officials about the night of July 21, 2006.
Bolyard's first statement to police, taken as he was recovering from his gunshot wound at Florida Hospital Waterman in Tavares, was that two unknown black males approached him and told him to get out of the green pickup truck. He refused, was shot, realized his fiancee was hurt, then drove her to the hospital, according to the initial police statement.
Bolyard was later transferred to Orlando Regional Medical Center, where authorities questioned him again.
There, police reported, Bolyard changed his original statement by admitting he planned to get cocaine and was shot during the drug deal, and he described a white four-door sedan and two black male suspects.
He later disclosed his idea to pay with a phony million-dollar bill, the police report says.
Lori Logue, 32, said she has had four children and a rocky relationship with Bolyard since 1992. Bolyard called her a day after LaForce's death, she said, and he did not immediately mention that LaForce was his girlfriend or that he was planning to get drugs on the night LaForce was killed.
Logue said two Eustis police detectives who flew to Illinois questioned her before they charged Bolyard at Douglas County Jail. Neither she nor Bolyard expected him to get in trouble, Logue said.
"He can't understand why it's happening. He just kept telling me, 'Sorry, sorry,' " she said. "He got in the wrong situation."
Adrian G. Uribarri can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 352-742-5926.